President John F. Kennedy said it best: things do not happen, things are made to happen.

Ladies and gentlemen we are making things here in the city of Rio Grande. 

On behalf of the great city of Rio Grande City, a historic community with a modern appeal that embraces the high quality of life and where people come to live, to work and to forge the American dream, good morning, welcome and thank you for joining us today. 

It is without question that Rio Grande City has enjoyed tremendous growth, prosperity and success. We have invested millions of dollars in infrastructure in order to sustain and support any and all future developments. 

Safety is priority one, highlighted by Rio Grande City being ranked among the top ten safest cities in the state of Texas. 

Our business community is booming, our medical community expanding and in fact we’re going to have a medical residency program here in Rio Grande City in the next year and a half.

Our educational system is strong, anchored by the likes of UTRGV, South Texas College, Rio Grande City ISD, La Grulla ISD, IDEA Public Schools, Immaculate Conception School.

Our cost of living is below the national average by a staggering 26%. We have a strong and young workforce. We have a bi-cultural, bi-national, and bilingual identity that serves as a strength. We have an international land port of entry, billions of dollars in trade, every conceivable commodity and service with destination anywhere and everywhere, USA.

We are expanding the airport capabilities. So, without question, Rio Grande City’s economic forecast is great. 

There was a time we had naysayers who questioned the feasibility of us having a Starbucks, a Chick-fil-A, a Buffalo Wings and Rings. And boy were they wrong. In fact, all thread to reassess their projections, their early projections of annual sales on the plus side. And they are doing exceptionally well. First day sales are off the charts, first month sales are off the charts.

During Covid, at the height of Covid, Rio Grande City, we varied from five to 15 percent in sales revenues on the plus side. 

So, everything points to the following: We are sitting on a goldmine. The question is are you willing, ready and able to invest in Rio Grande City and make claim to your share. Without much more, on behalf of the great city of Rio Grande City, welcome. Rio Grande City, a wonderful place to call home.

Editor’s Note: The above remarks were made by Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal at UT-Rio Grande Valley Starr County Campus during a recent Commercialization and Investment event hosted jointly by Rio Grande City Economic Development Corporation and Rio Grande Valley Partnership. Thank you to our media partner Ron Whitlock Reports for providing a recording of the event.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column is the third in a three-part series on Rio Grande City EDC and RGVP’s recent Commercialization and Investment Tour. Click here to listen to commentary from Rio Grande City EDC executive director Dalinda Guillen. Click here to listen to commentary from Starr County Industrial Foundation president Rose Benavidez.

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